When we think of early childhood education, we often think of pre-K and primary school. But children are born ready to learn and depend on everyone around them to help develop their skills to become independent and lead strong and successful lives. By age 5, a child’s brain is 90% of an adult’s size. KidStrong has created a program that offers innovative training with a curriculum based on the latest in developmental science and leverages experts in pediatric occupational therapy, child development, sports physiology, and physical education.
Matt and Megin Sharp started KidStrong in Oklahoma after noticing a massive change in their 2-year-old daughter’s development after things were closed during the pandemic. A friend reached out about a children’s character and physical development class, so they tried it. During the first couple of classes, their daughter was in Matt’s lap crying. But after sticking it out, she is now a “Titan” who will stand up in front of the class, saying, “I am strong, and I can do this.”
After seeing the growth, the business intrigued Matt. Apart from extracurricular activities, there aren’t many programs focused on 6-month to 11-year-old children. Matt then contacted KidStrong’s owner to discuss starting a branch in Oklahoma. The Sharps opened their location in April 2022 after purchasing the rights for the entire state. Hundreds of children in the metro area excel in the program, including their daughter and 2-year-old son.
The program provides the tools to “win at life,” Matt said, “by focusing on character building and the X factor.” The educational aspect of the curriculum is critical thinking. They have the kids run, causing them to tire physically. Amid exhaustion, the child must solve a problem to ensure they can still win during difficult times.
“KidStrong isn’t meant to replace extracurricular activities; it’s to give them an edge to succeed in them and act faster,” Matt states. A 2-year-old in KidStrong might be on par with a 3-year-old who’s not in the program. The program provides optional materials to take home to continue sharpening skills. The checklist includes taking pictures, helping with chores, or donating something. These actions help maintain a KidStrong focus, with affirmations to recite daily.
The courses provide interactive training for parents to engage during classes. “We want to give parents the tools and education to empower their children,” Matt says. Parents are required to attend the courses, but the scheduling is flexible with morning and evening options. A member can create a private group session with 5 or 6 parents. Memberships also include access to academies that start when school ends, continuing education in the summer months, and keeping children engaged in activities while parents are at work.
The headquarters team includes coaches, a center director, member relations, sales, and retention to ensure the program works effectively and clients are happy with the results. Each team member must be certified to start and re-certified every month. The cost is affordable, can be a month-to-month or a 6-month membership, and includes over 400 members.